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When the Belly is the Beast: Dietary Interventions to Address Autism and Neuro-Degenerative Disease

Thursday, 4 December 2014 -
9:30am to 4:00pm
Bristol Community College, Jackson Art Center, Room H209/H210
777 Elsbree St,
Fall River, MA


After Nov. 30: $80 Member; $100 Non-member

Print Registration Form: Click here to download and print mail in registration form. (This may be used for a walk-in registration)

Scholarships: Click here to apply for a scholarship. (Scholarships are also available for people who register on-site)  

Online Registration:

 You can still register online until Wednesday, December 3 at 9:30pm. Registering online is encouraged.

 Walk-In Registrations: You may register in person as a walk-in. Please call 413-658-5374 if you plan to register on-site so that we have an accurate number to give to the caterer who is providing lunch. 

Program Description: This seminar explains how environmental factors, including exposures to toxins in food and the environment, and the consumption of highly processed, nutrient-poor foods, are contributing to a wide range of chronic and neuro-degenerative illnesses in the population. These include autism, multiple sclerosis, dementia, Parkinson’s Disease, ADHD, ALS, and related disorders. Participants will learn how diets high in quality nutrient-dense foods support the brain as it attempts to repair itself, leading to improved behavior, mood, cognition, and muscular and neurological function.

Dietary intervention treatments highlighted in this seminar focus on providing excellent quality nutrition using whole, unprocessed foods that feed and nourish the body and brain. Among the approaches discussed will be the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD) developed by Elaine Gottschall and the Gut and Psychology Syndrome Diet (GAPS) developed by Natasha Campbell-McBride.

Click here for Press Release: "Seminar Highlights Nutritional Approaches to Promoting Brain Health and Treating Autism"

Main presenters:

Dr. Martha Herbert Dr. Martha Herbert is a pediatric neurologist and brain researcher. Nearly two decades of research, clinical work, and advocacy on autism have led her to see the commonalities of these and other brain degenerative and injury conditions. All involve disruption of metabolic support for brain electrical activity and downgrading of the brain's subtlety. Dr. Herbert is author of the general audience-oriented book, The Autism Revolution: Whole Body Strategies for Making Life All It Can Be (Harvard Health Publications/Random House, 2012).

Pamela J. Ferro Pamela J. Ferro RN ASN, is the Co-founder of Hopewell Associates and the director of Hopewell’s Autism program for children. She provides treatment for children, teens, and adults with Autism using biomedical approaches. She is also the founder and President of the Board of Trustees of the Gottschall Center.

RamanRaman Prasad founded, which includes hundreds of Specific Carbohydrate Diet™ recipes and other relevant information about this dietary protocol. He is author of the non-fiction memoir Colitis & Me: A Story of Recovery (2003), and two SCD cookbooks: Adventures in the Family Kitchen (2004) and Recipes for the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (2008). He is currently at work on his fourth book with Ms. Ferro about the impact of SCD™ on autism and ADHD.

Kelly Barnhill

Kelly Barnhill is a Certified Clinical Nutritionist and Director of the Nutrition Clinic at The Johnson Center for Child Health and Development. She has over a decade of clinical experience working with nutrition in children with autism and related disorders. Her team of dieticians and nutritionists has served over 4,000 children. She recently completed a prospective study evaluating the use of the Specific Carbohydrate Diet in children with autism spectrum disorder, which will be published shortly.

She serves as the Johnson Center Clinical Care Director, overseeing management and implementation of multidisciplinary care across the practices within the organization and serves as the Nutrition Director for the Autism Research Institute. She is a sought-after presenter, speaking at several national and international conferences each year.

Perspectives from Parents:

Laura Zell

Laura Zell is a licensed teacher, a Registered Nurse and a certified GAPS practitioner but most importantly, she is the proud mother of an amazing young man who has successfully treated his Crohn's Disease with the SCD diet.

Mackenzie Palumbo is a mother of twin boys who were diagnosed with autism at 18 months. After trying other therapies, she began SCD with her sons at age 4, and started seeing major improvements in behavior and language. She credits what she’s learned about food with positive changes in her family.


Lunch will be served from 12:30 to 1:30pm. The cost of lunch is included with the registration cost. Catering will be done by Chef Christine Holden of Dukes Bakery in Fall River. Lunch is made from scratch with 100% organic ingredients, adhering to the Specific Carbohyrate Diet protocol, which also covers GAPS. Lunch will feature: Tomato based Chili with grass fed beef and beans plus vegetarian option and Taco bar with grass-fed beef and seasoning, refried beans, lettuce, tomato, green onion, chiles, guacamole, salsa, chipotle mayonnaise and almond flour chips.

Refund Policy

Refunds are given up until 10 days prior to the event minus a 15% processing fee. No refunds are provided within 10 days of event. Walk-in and online registration subject to additional fees. 

Educational Resources

View a range of interviews with panelist, Dr. Martha Herbert
View Kelly Barnhill's most recent webinar, "Overview of the Specific Carbohydrate Diet"

See this event and RSVP on facebook

Directions and Parking:

The seminar takes place at:

Bristol Community College, Jackson Art Center, Room H209/H210
777 Elsbree St, Fall River, MA

Click here for google map directions to the college.

Drive into the main entrance, off of Elsbree Street. Park in in Lot 9 or Lot 10. No parking permit or ticket is needed. See this campus map to see where these lots are located (Jackson Art Center is part of building H):

There will be A-frame sandwich boards directing you from Parking Lots 9 and 10 to the Jackson Art Center. Once you enter the building, signs will guide you to Room H209/H210.

*** There are designated handicap accessible parking spaces available on the other side of the street from Parking Lots 9 and 10 and just south of the Jackson Art Center.

For more info on this event

Registration questions: Christine Rainville, 508-572-0816,

For event information: Ben Grosscup, 413-658-5374,


SEMAPSoutheastern Massachusetts Agricultural Partnership

WAPFWeston A. Price Foundation 



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